Girls Don’t Fight
This week, my writing group set an interesting writing challenge (see excerpt below). It could be seen as a slightly sexist exercise but when we came up with the idea there was an even division of sexes in the room, so we’re hoping no one takes offence. The problem is, I can’t think of anything to write! This week of all weeks when I’m supposed to disprove a stereotype, I have writer’s block. Typical!
So this post is a cry for help. I need prompts before Monday or I’ll have to sit through a session with nothing to read out…or even worse, I’ll have to read an old romantic piece I dust off my shelf. All the ideas that have popped into my head are bland and rip-offs of slasher movies I’ve watched. That won’t do! So people, any ideas?
To help you help me, I’ve nicked the email that was sent this week to members of the group because I think it is very cleverly worded (good job John).
GIRLS DON’T FIGHT & BOYS DON’T CRY – CHALLENGE A STEREOTYPE
How many Romance Novels are written by women? Thousands if not millions. How many Romance Novels are written by men? Thousands if not millions.
How many Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Horror Novels are written by women….you can see where we’re going with this.
There is a stereotype that exists claiming that men can’t write believable romance and women can’t write believable fantasy/sci-fi or horror. Obviously Westminster Writers believe this to be completely false. Ever heard of Mary Shelley? She only wrote Frankenstein. Not to mention Diana Wynne Jones who’s written some of the best fantasy novels you’re ever likely to read. What of Mike Gayle? He writes believable romantic comedies. And Nick Hornby? High Fidelity may at first glance be about a bloke and his record collection, but it’s actually about a man trying to navigate his way through relationships. Boys and Girls both fall in love and both indulge in amazing fantasy and science fiction tales, so why do we stereotype the sexes?
This week, at the risk of being labelled ‘sexist’ the challenge is as follows:
BOYS – Try to write a believable Romantic story. It can be serious or funny so let your imagination roam freely
GIRLS – Try to write a believable Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Horror tale that can amaze or chill our bones! Again let your weirdest and wildest dreams spill out onto the page freely!
To get your self riled up and in the mood have a read of an old archived article that appeared in The Telegraph a few years ago here: